Wednesday, May 10, 2006

EGHM III: Odds and ends   posted by JP @ 5/10/2006 02:43:00 PM

A few other notes from the conference:

1. Genetics of taste: Taste-blindness to PTC or PROP (bitter tasting compounds to the rest of you) is present as a recessive trait in about 30% of European-origin populations. A presentation by Beverly Tepper showed that "non-tasters" are less sensitive to a wide variety of other tastes-- spicy food, whole milk (as a proxy for the taste of fat), and red wine, to name a few. And further, "non-taster" children consumed more calories per day than their "taster" counterparts. She then tried to relate this to body weight, with mixed results.

2. Dysbindin and intelligence: another group has also apparently been studying the relationship between the dysbindin gene and schizophrenia/cognitive traits (this gene has been previously associated with cognitive ability). They looked at some measures of verbal learning and memory and found...nada. The study's not perfectly comprable to the previous one, but it's certainly not encouraging.

3. Perennial GNXP favorite Bruce Lahn...didn't show. Some British dude gave a summary of the evidence for selection on ASPM and MCPH1 instead.

4. Dutch cops. I was stopped and threatened with arrest for...crossing the street (on foot) on a red light. I seriously had hold myself back from laughing at the poor guy. Was this a joke (I've heard people from Amsterdam have a strange sense of humor)?

Addendum from Razib: We've talked about taste before. There is interpopulational variance in regards to taste vs. non-taste status.